As if this hasn’t been discussed enough, here’s a compelling reason for BYU to stay in the MWC: Texas. Hear me out. It’s no secret that Texas is by far the largest generator of college athletics revenue. Second place Ohio State isn’t even $20 million away. And this is why it’s no secret Texas is going to be an independent just as soon as they have their network up and running. This should not be any shock to anyone familiar with college sports. But if you thought this summer had a crazy domino avalanche of conference speculation, wait until Texas breaks up the Big XII.
First things first. As soon as Texas goes independent, Texas A&M will be welcomed with open arms to the SEC. They are salivating at the thought of making a big footprint in the fertile recruiting grounds of Texas. So now you are left with the Big VIII. Could they possibly survive? Not a chance. Without Texas and Texas A&M this is not a conference. This is another MWC, a couple great programs (OU in football, Kansas in basketball) but nothing being contributed from the bottom teams.
At that point you know this conference falls apart. So who picks up the pieces? If BYU stays with the MWC and they stick it out, they could pick up 5 schools: Kansas, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Baylor and Missouri. The MWC wouldn’t even think twice to invite this lot to the conference. Now they have a 16 team mega conference, like the Big East is in basketball. They would have a competitive basketball league with BYU, New Mexico, UNLV, San Diego State, kansas, Kansas State, Texas Tech and decent showings from the others. They would have a great football league with Boise State, TCU, BYU, Missouri, Nevada, Fresno State and Texas Tech. Travel wouldn’t be so bad as you can have two divisions of 8 teams: TCU, Texas Tech, Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Wyoming and New Mexico as the East, UNLV, Nevada, Boise State, Fresno State, San Diego State, BYU, Colorado State and Air Force as the West.
This league could surely support a decent television contract. This league would surely get an automatic bid to the BCS. The championship game would surely be TCU vs. Boise State every year. Still, that MWC doesn’t look so bad. So what about Oklahoma and Oklahoma State? The SEC wouldn’t mind picking them up at all, nor would any conference for that matter, be it the MWC, Big Ten, Big East or anyone else. So in the end, everyone would find a home.
What’s important here is for BYU to look at the big picture. No WAC means its tough to go independent, unless they join the WCC, which I think doesn’t compete in all the sports BYU does (swimming, gymnastics, etc.) So the viability to go independent is there, but think of this first. Going independent makes more sense now, but what makes more sense for the next 10 years?
If this scenario plays out in some regard, BYU will get what it wants: more exposure and more money. The money comes with a renegotiated TV deal, likely with ESPN. The exposure comes when you have teams like Kansas coming to the Marriott Center every season, not to mention the increased football exposure in new markets. BYU seems to be pretty tight with Texas all of a sudden, an obvious move to help them go independent like BYU is trying to do, so maybe they should get some insight from those guys. Ask them when they are planning to go independent, what they think will happen, etc. Then they can use future scenarios to make a good decision in the present.